Longtime Marshfield community member Richard Kohl wills estate to benefit future research, Catholic education and local Catholic parish.

A love of community, passion for innovation and deeply-rooted faith led Richard Kohl, who passed away earlier this year, to leave a nearly $5 million legacy gift that will benefit the Marshfield area for years to come. 

A longtime Marshfield resident, Kohl chose to designate his gift to three local organizations – Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, the Columbus Education Foundation and Our Lady of Peace Parish. 

“This gift will have a tremendous impact on the future of research at the Research Institute, but also on our Marshfield community,” said Dr. Susan Turney, Marshfield Clinic Health System CEO. “Mr. Kohl was proud of his hometown and wanted his legacy to support the local causes he cared about most. His generosity was felt by those who knew him in life, and will continue to resonate through those who benefit from his support of research.” 

The thoughtfully-planned gift, totaling more than $1.7 million for Marshfield Clinic Research Institute, over $735,000 for Our Lady of Peace Parish, and nearly $2.5 million for Columbus Catholic Schools, through the Columbus Education Foundation (CEF), was an unexpected and important donation for the three organizations. 

Kohl’s gift to Marshfield Clinic Research Institute will help advance important priority research areas, including trauma, infectious disease, precision medicine and life-threatening diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases. 

“This invaluable support from Mr. Kohl will enable the integration of Health System clinicians and scientists into research priorities to better serve patients and the communities by translating research discoveries into care delivery,” said Dr. Amit Acharya, Marshfield Clinic Research Institute executive director. “We are so thankful that Mr. Kohl made this generous gift to our organization. It will have a lasting impact on scientific discoveries, enabling us to better care for our communities.” 

For Our Lady of Peace and Columbus Catholic Schools, the gift will help build infrastructure that will serve parish members, students and education programs. 

“Mr. Kohl’s gift will benefit two separate parts of the Columbus Education Foundation,” said David Eaton, JD, Columbus Catholic Schools president. “The larger portion of his bequest will support the Oster Fund of the Columbus Education Foundation, which helps to cover general operating costs. This will allow us greater freedom in creativity for planning improvements. His gift will also benefit the CEF Scholarship Fund, which offers scholarships given to graduating seniors and to students returning to our schools. The gift to the scholarship fund will help us continue a tradition of generous tuition assistance that makes it possible for any student to attend our schools, regardless of the family's ability to cover tuition costs.” 

“Mr. Kohl was a faithful steward,” said Ron Wilczek, Our Lady of Peace finance council chair. “His generous legacy gift provides resources that will help the church continue its ministry for generations to come.”  

Though Kohl made regular contributions to all three beneficiaries in life, as well as other causes, his legacy giving far exceeds his previous gifts. 

Friends of Kohl described him as an unassuming, kind and faith-filled individual who sought to help others. He was grateful for access to world-class research and health care where he lived, as well as a robust religious education for local youth and a strong Catholic Church community. With this gift, he was able to demonstrate that gratitude by making a lasting impact.